The weather can be so unpredictable. If you end up stuck indoors this spring, here are my top tech tips to keep you (and your loved ones) amused…
MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU
Robots keep your big kids and little kids amused. The Star Wars BB8 Droid Sphero is just as cute as it is in the movie and there’s fun to be had chasing it around the house. The WowWee MiP robot is a self-balancing, smart robot that talks and has games you can play with him. It’s so easy to use, you run the risk of hogging it all day! WowWee MiP Robot, 6JJAM, £90, Star Wars BB8 Droid Sphero, 6QKWU, £129.99
TELLY ON TAP
Let’s put the classic “but there’s nothing to watch” line to bed! Get yourself an Amazon Fire Stick – you can watch catch-up services and Amazon’s own TV/movies (which you can rent if you don’t subscribe), plus it has games! Or Apple TV allows you to access the music, movies, TV shows and podcasts you already have on your devices. Amazon Fire TV Stick With Voice Remote, 6XTTT, £44.99
When in doubt, always have a console on standby – it’s my life motto! If it’s for all the family and something to just pick up and play, why not get the Wii U with Mario Kart 8 plus Mario Party. Everyone knows how to play Mario Kart, so the whole family can get involved. Why not have a house cup tournament? The loser has to do the day’s dishes… That should inspire the competitive spirit! Nintendo Wii U Mario Kart 8 Hard Bundle + Mario Party 10 + Wii U Pro Controller & Wii U Wheel, 6EA34, £319.99* 1 year extra service guarantee, £19.99*
YOU’VE BEEN FRAMED
There’s hours of fun to be had with a camcorder. Sony’s 4K Action comes with a waterproof case, so it’s ideal for using in all weathers. The Sony HDR-PJ620 looks like a normal camcorder, but actually has a projector in it too. Set a movie-making challenge and then you can all sit down later to watch it projected on the wall. Sony HDR-PJ620 Full HD Handycam Camcorder With Built-In Projector, 63YPR, £469.99* 2 years extra service guarantee, £99*, Sony FDR-X1000V 4K Action Cam, 63YPN, £379* 2 years extra service guarantee, £32.99*
They may be slightly more advanced than us when it comes to tech but the little ones don’t have to access everything…
PUT A PASS CODE ON IT
This is obvious, I know, but you’d be surprised by how many people don’t put a pass code on their tablets or phones. It prevents your kids using up all your data and stops anyone else accessing your device.
SET UP SEPARATE USER PROFILES
Set up a user profile for your child, which will allow you to control the apps and sites they can access. No nasty surprises here – apart from a sticky screen, maybe!
ONLY YOU KNOW YOUR PASSWORD
It’s a good idea for only you to have the password to the Play Store or App Store, so if somebody accidentally hits that button, there will be no shock purchases (or unwanted charges for you).